Morticia Adams's Reviews > Property

Property by Valerie Martin
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's review
Jan 12, 12

liked it
bookshelves: books-i-own
Read in December, 2011

Although well-written, and pleasingly unostentatious in style, this isn’t a book I could say I enjoyed. The narrator, Manon, is enduring a miserable marriage to an arrogant plantation owner in Louisana during the slavery years; she is certainly not lacking in physical courage, and is honest about her selfishness and coldness towards others, but generates very little sympathy because of this. The people in her social circle are equally shallow and self-serving. The black characters are not particularly likeable, and perhaps because they are seen through the eyes of a woman who couldn’t care less about them, don’t really come alive as individuals. Manon’s closing remarks, which many reviewers seem to have found unsatisfactory as an ending to the book, seemed to me to be an effective final reminder of her intrinsic bigotry and inability to see black people as human beings.

For the way in which it immerses the reader into a dehumanised and sulphurous society, I admired the achievement of this book, but I just couldn’t like it.

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